Duterte tells human rights advocates: We can’t open drug war records because ‘you might find your names’

Published June 15, 2021, 9:58 AM

by Raymund Antonio

President Duterte warned human rights advocates that they might find their names in the list of police informants if he made public the country’s anti-drug records.

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his public address on June 14, 2021. (Malacañang photo)

In his taped public address on Monday night, Duterte said he was okay with opening the records on police operations, but not the list of sources where the police get their information.

“Hindi nga puwedeng i-open ‘yan eh. ‘Pag makita ninyo, baka makita ninyo ‘yong pangalan ninyo, kayo pala ang nagbibigay ng mga impormasyon sa pulis (We cannot open that. If you see it, you might see your names there, that you were the ones who gave information to the police) That is why we cannot show it to you, you might find your name there,” he explained.

Human rights advocates are calling for access to state records on the bloody anti-drug war, but the President said this “cannot be divulged publicly.”

Last month, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar agreed to open 61 cases where the PNP Internal Affairs Service has already found liability on the part of law enforcers.

The PNP is leaving the decision to the Department of Justice (DOJ) whether or not it will share the records with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), which has long sought for the access of these records.

READ: ‘It’s confidential’: Duterte denies full access to gov’t’s drug war records

During his prerecorded public address, Duterte showed a chart of the number of victims killed in the drug trade and anti-drug operations.

He said that those who were killed were not just because of the police operations, but because of the wars within drug organizations.

“Iyang mga nasa droga kaya nakikiusap ako sa mga (Those who are in the drug business, I am appealing to the) human rights, kindly take a deeper look into the drug situation,” the President added.

Duterte told human rights advocates that it was okay if they don’t want to help in the government’s anti-drug war, but they should not threaten the police with cases.

He said the problem with drugs goes way back to the time of former President Fidel Ramos, but there were no deaths before because it is only now that the police can operate.

“Bakit? Takot sa kaso (Why? Because they are afraid of cases),” Duterte added.

The Chief Executive’s latest tirade against the critics of the government’s anti-drug war came on the heels of a statement from outgoing International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda who said that preliminary investigation has found “reasonable basis” to believe that crime against humanity of murder was committed under the country’s anti-drug war by security forces.

Duterte argued that the CHR, when it was still headed by detained Senator Leila de Lima, investigated him and found nothing. The same happened with Senate and Congress.

“Puro lang lang ‘yong aspersions, ‘yong mga salita na ganoon (Those are just aspersions, those are just words),” he said.

The Chief Executive added that the police will not simply kill because they know they can get imprisoned if they do it without reason.